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Which tense is correct?

  • She was walking faster towards the station ‘cause she didn't want to miss the bus. She stumbled over the sidewalk and fell down.

  • She walked faster towards the station ‘cause she didn't want to miss the bus. She stumbled over the sidewalk and fell down.

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    I'm not aware of any circumstance in English where "'cause" should be used instead of "because". Maybe in a text message? But people tend to write 'cos' when they do so in extremely informal and abbreviated contexts. Just write the word in full.
    – fred2
    Apr 22, 2019 at 19:12

2 Answers 2

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It's not uncommon to use the past continuous tense when describing an action that was in progress, but got interrupted by another action. For instance:

I was reading a book when someone knocked on the door.

My husband broke the lamp while he was changing the light bulb.

In your example, it looks like "she" stumbled and fell while in the process of getting to the bus station. Without more context, I'd prefer the sentence using the past continuous tense ("was walking"). Otherwise it sounds a little bit like she got to the station, then fell over, which isn't what I think you're trying to say.

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Both "was walking" and "walked" can be used in this sort of construction, and the change in meaning is slight. The "Was walking" form (past continuous) suggests an interruption, and thus implies that she was in the process of walking toward the station when she fell. The "walked' form doesn't particularly suggest that, but in the given sentence that is implied to some degree anyway.

"'cause" should not be used as short for "because" except in very informal speech. in writing it should only be used in dialog, when the intent is to represent such speech, and even there only sparingly.

The use of "faster" suggests a comparison with some other time when she was walking more slowly, possibly a time mentioned in a previous sentence or passage. If the intent is just to describe her walking as being fast, i would favor "rapidly" or "quickly" or "hurriedly" over "faster". Or perhaps "as fast as she could" to further emphasize her speed.

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